Chicago International Film Festival 2011
A Lonely Place to Die Directed by: Julian Gilbey Cast: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Eamonn Walker Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins Rating: NR Release Date: TBD
PLOT: A group of climbers looking for adventure find terror instead when they are unknowingly drawn into a kidnapping plot.
WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of Melissa George who will want to see more of her, but most other people would quickly lose interest.
A Lonely Place to Die is one of those movies where words fail me. I can’t for the life of me describe the confusion or chaos that is this movie. It starts out with a distinct aroma of thriller. Honestly, I was excited to see a climbing movie that might actually surpass Cliffhanger. I know it’s a tall order, but I was hopeful.
But somewhere along the way, it gets lost in itself. The main problem with the film is that it can’t commit. It dances between horror and thriller, which might not sound like a major distinction, but it certainly feels like it. It has elements of the slasher subgenre and some more naturalistic elements, but its constant inability to follow through on either makes it jarring, to say the least.
The truth of the matter is A Lonely Place to Die has potential. The cast, while largely unknown, shows tremendous capability in acting out the far-fetched scenarios that director Julian Gilbey throws their way. But their acting isn’t enough to excuse the gross discrepancies in tone and general inconsistencies with the story.
A Lonely Place to Die has the distinct problem of trying to be two movies within one film. The beginning shows great promise. It has a naturalistic feel to it that really sold me on the scares. However, its departure from the tone it first established destroys what chance the film ever had. As it dives headfirst into a muddled kidnapping thriller, it’s difficult not to lose interest. The haphazard characterization of the film’s cast isn’t enough to make the audience fear for their safety, which the movies asks of us. In a slasher movie this would be somewhat acceptable, expected even, but as A Lonely Place to Die tries to sell itself as a thriller, it simply doesn’t work.
In the end,simply can’t overcome its confused origins. Melissa George portrays a strong heroine, but it feels as if Gilbey never trusts his cast to do anything more complex than the character archetypes. What results is a less than compelling horror/thriller that suffers from its tonal issues and never quite recovers.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10